The following media round up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period of 16 April to 30 April 2021. The Guernica Group will provide bi-weekly media updates with a focus Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia . Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Serbia- 22 April 2021
The Trial of Nezir Mahmetaj, allegedly a former Kosovo Liberation Army Fighter, began in the Belgrade Higher Court last Thursday. Mr Nezir Mahmetaj is being accused of participating in the killing of seven people and burning and raiding homes in the village Rudice in June-July 1999. Mahmetaj claims he was not in Kosovo during that time.
Serbia- 16 April 2021
Judge Liu Daqun, from the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague, issued a ruling last week calling for the President of the court to “notify the [UN] Security Council of Serbia’s failure to comply with its obligations” for failing to arrest two former MPs Peter Jojic and Vjerica Radeta.
Croatia- 28 April 2021
Croatia issued arrest warrants for two former commanders, a Serbian and a Croatian citizen, for committing war crimes in the Lika region in 1991. The two commanders, both now in their seventies, are accused of failing to stop the killing of 35 people in 1991.
Croatia- 21 April 2021
British whistleblower Jonathan Taylor, who has been trapped in Croatia for almost nine months, was recently detained by armed police and was held against his will in a psychiatric hospital overnight. This all happened after the UK embassy had concerns regarding his mental health.
Montenegro- 20 April 2021
Haris Djurdjevic was appointed Chief Police in the town of Pljevlja by the Montenegrin government.
This caused the Pro-Serbian political party to stage a protest outside the police station, they are not happy with Haris Djurdjevic being appointed due to his ethnic background.
Bosnia and Hercegovina- 20 April 2021
Goran Viskovic, a former Bosnian Serb Army policeman, who is at the moment serving a 18 year sentence for crimes against humanity, was charged by the Bosnian state prosecution with participating in the killing of eight Bosniak civilians.
Bosnia and Herzegovina –29 April 2021
On the order of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH the SIPA Police, with the help of Una Sana Canton Police, arrested two individuals suspected of organising a group or association for smuggling migrants as well as smuggling people.
Kosovo- 27 April 2021
The Prosecution has asked the Pre-Trial Judge, in the case of former Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague, to dismiss the defence's motion challenging the indictment.
Kosovo- 19 April 2021
Last week, Pjeter Shala, a former Kosovo Liberation Army fighter, pleaded not guilty to war crimes at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague. Shala, also known as Commander Wolf, said that he did not commit any crimes and that he was only defending his country.